Column: Why do people have to be such Idiots online?


Allie Peregory,Editor-in-Chief

Allie Peregory,Editor-in-Chief

I have never had a self-esteem problem. And that is not meant to be said in an arrogant way, but I am confident in myself and secure with who I am. I’m not saying I never doubt myself, but I am at a point in my life where I am not necessarily concerned with insignificant peoples’ opinions of me. With that said, I must say I am slightly perturbed when I am referred to as a “fat fuck.”

I followed a page on Twitter that posts funny pictures. These pictures are not completely appropriate, but I have always enjoyed this page just for a good laugh after a long day, until recently. The page posted a screenshot picture from Instagram of a girl with a very large birthmark on her forehead making fun of her appearance and they left the girl’s Instagram name on the picture. Knowing she would surely soon be bombarded by people teasing her, I went to her page and commented on one of her pictures to warn her.

I thought nothing of this, simply that if my picture had been floating around Twitter being made fun of I would have wanted someone to do the same for me. The girl thanked me, we went on our way, and I forgot about the entire incident until I checked my Instagram after school. To my amazement, my notifications were flooded with malicious comments from two users I do not know. I immediately knew they found my account from the incident earlier in the week.

The comments themselves did not necessarily bother me. Honestly, I do not care what small irrelevant words Twitter users with screen names like @niggajoe and @maluskyy have to make about my appearance or intellect. What truly bothered me about the situation was the potential damage those comments can do to someone’s reputation.

I have heard too many horror stories about girls developing eating disorders simply because of a small side handed comment made by their closest friends, so thinking about the possible damage these comments could have made on another girl angered me.

These two guys were hell bent on destroying my confidence. They stalked my profile went to the trouble of finding pictures to comment on with the sole goal to destroy my self-image. That angered me even more and I could not pinpoint the anger. Two people I do not even know were trying to tear me down for no reason other than standing up for another girl. I could not believe these individuals thought they were entitled enough to make such remarks to me.

I love technology and I know cyber bullying is an old, mundane lecture for students in school, but after this experience I see more clearly how there are actually people out there that hide behind the anonymity of the Internet. They use what should be a great tool and create real damage to a person just for the sake of being a jerk.

Technology is an ugly blessing upon our society. We can use all of our social media sites and different new ways to connect with others as a useful tool, but unfortunately many have taken to using this privilege as a means of destruction. Students in high school need to be encouraged to make their accounts private, where others have to request to see information.

I will admit, I purposefully avoided making my accounts private because I did not want to look like I had anything to hide, but I would much rather have others make assumptions about me and be forced to keep those thoughts to themselves than to come home and read a news feed flooded with negativity. You cannot stop people from being morons, but you can protect yourself from having to deal with their ignorance.